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31st Dec 2016

Researchers discover Benedict Cumberbatch is related to Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Pretty amazing

Conor Heneghan

A discovery Sherlock himself would be proud of.

2017 won’t even be a day old by the time the new series begins, but the return of Sherlock is already shaping up to be one of the TV highlights of the year.

It’s so popular that it hardly needs much promotion (the BBC are doing plenty of good work on that front as it is), but in a remarkable turn of events that will help hype the series even more, it has emerged that its star, Benedict Cumberbatch, is actually a distant relative of the creator of the original Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Genealogy detectives working on behalf of made the discovery purely out of their own inquisitiveness, which was sparked by their love of the BBC series.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1927 (Pic via Getty)

And distant relative is probably putting it mildly.

The researchers discovered that Cumberbatch and Arthur Conan Doyle were 16th cousins, twice removed, so even if they were alive at the same time (Doyle died in 1930), it’s not as if they’d be inviting each other to Christmas dinner or anything like that.

“Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve,” said Lisa Elzey, a family historian at Ancestry, who have not informed Cumberbatch of the connection.

It’s nice to know but it will hardly make much difference to Cumberbatch if they were to do so; we think we’re safe in saying Doyle is probably not the only 16th cousin that Cumberbatch isn’t familiar with.